Mortgage rates slip to four-month low

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Yahoo Money 08 July, 2021 - 12:46pm 15 views

A scorching, undersupplied real estate market is contributing to the decrease in purchase applications, but homeowners holding off on refinancing don’t really have a comparable excuse.

With the typical mortgage rate still historically low, over 14 million homeowners have opportunities to save an average $287 a month with a refinance, the mortgage technology and data provider Black Knight recently said.

Both the field of refi candidates and the average savings will inevitably start shrinking once mortgage rates climb back to their pre-pandemic levels.

Mortgage applications experienced an overall decline of 1.8% last week, according to data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association on Wednesday. It was the second week in a row in which applications for both refinance and purchase mortgages fell, and it marked the lowest level of application activity since the beginning of 2020.

After dropping 8% in the MBA’s previous survey period, refinance applications shed another 2% last week. That’s despite the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage — the most popular mortgage product in the U.S. — falling to 2.98% last week, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. (This week, it's down to 2.90%.)

Rather than signaling the end of America’s refinance boom, the dip in refi demand is more of a seasonal phenomenon, says Maria Fregosi, chief investment officer with mortgage lender Homepoint Financial.

"It was a holiday week," Fregosi says. "We usually see lower applications as people focus on other activities. We expect to see an uptick in applications this week."

There may also be some market fatigue at work, says Corey Burr, senior vice president at TTR Sotheby’s International Realty in Washington, D.C.

“Millions of Americans have refinanced or purchased in the last 15 months at rates very close to current rates," Burr says. "Jockeying the market to save an eighth or a quarter of a point is not a priority right now."

Saving a fraction of a percent may not be a priority for homeowners if they expect rates to continue hovering around historic lows for the foreseeable future, but that's probably not going to happen.

"If the 30-year fixed drops to 2.5% or 2.625%, that will lead to a new wave of refinances," Burr says, "but don't bet on it, as the improving economy will put upward pressure on rates. The thought that rates will drop significantly below 3% is wishful thinking."

Recent signs of a recovering economy, like last week's report of stronger-than-expected in hiring in June, have not pushed mortgage rates higher. The yields (interest) on Treasury bonds have fallen, taking fixed mortgage rates with them. Fregosi expects rates to remain below 3% until the 10-year Treasury yield starts improving.

"If we continue to have inflation fears, you will see the benchmark Treasury rate go up, and mortgage rates go up too," she says.

Because of the looming increases in rates, Fregosi says homeowners should consider refinancing sooner rather than later.

"Rates are low and mortgage companies are not at the capacity levels they were at during the pandemic, so service levels are also high," she says. "Assuming you plan to stay in the house long enough to cover the closing costs, refinancing makes sense now."

Despite the pandemic's ultra-low mortgage rates, 78% of eligible homeowners did not refinance their mortgages in the year ending April 2021, a recent Zillow survey found. If you've put off taking out a new home loan, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.

Once you finally decide to refinance your home, you’ll want to check mortgage rates from at least five lenders to find a loan that fits your budget.

But note that a lender may not automatically offer you the lowest interest rate available. That usually requires a little bit of effort on your part.

You'll want to be seen as a good risk — which can be tough if you’ve got a pile of high-interest debt. Taking out a debt consolidation loan can help you reduce both the number of payments you make each month and the amount of interest you're paying.

You’ll erase your debt faster and improve your cash flow, two things lenders like to see.

Don’t get too down if a refi isn't possible, because you have other ways of cutting the cost of homeownership. When the time comes to buy or renew homeowners insurance, for example, make sure you get quotes from multiple insurers. It’s quick, easy and could save you hundreds of dollars.

Content provided by Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS# 1681276, “Credible.” Not available in all states. www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org Over the past week, mortgage rates have remained largely unchanged for refinancing, while those for home purchase are also mostly unchanged. Homeowners and buyers should take advantage of reduced home mortgage rates, knowing that the Federal reserve is not raising rates and investors are not pushing rates higher. Current mortgage refinance rates for July 8, 2021 Today,

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‘The shift in the market’s outlook suggests that rates have little reason to move sharply higher anytime soon.’

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Mortgage refinancing rates are very low right now, with some rates starting at below 3% as of the writing of this article (you can compare today’s best refi rates here). Indeed, “while rates continually fluctuate, they have dipped to record-setting lows this year,” says Alfredo Padilla, a spokesperson for Wells Fargo home lending. What’s more, many experts expect interest rates to rise this year, so now may be the time to act.

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Mortgage applications sink to their lowest level since before the pandemic hit

CNBC 08 July, 2021 - 04:03pm

Mortgage demand fell for the second week in a row, as low inventory and high home prices continue to weigh on the housing market.

Mortgage applications decreased 1.8% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index, falling to the lowest level since the beginning of 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic started to take a toll on the economy.

Both refinance and purchase applications took a hit, even as mortgage rates slipped.

Mortgage applications to refinance a home dropped 2% for the week and were 8% lower than a year ago. Refinance applications have trended lower than 2020 levels for the past four months, according to the MBA.

Home purchase applications dropped 1% for the week and came in 14% lower than a year ago.  

"Swift home-price growth across much of the country, driven by insufficient housing supply, is weighing on the purchase market and is pushing average loan amounts higher," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

Falling mortgage rates didn't spur demand. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) dropped 5 basis points to 3.15, with points decreasing to 0.38 from 0.39 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment.

Mortgage rates loosely follow the yield of the 10-year Treasury. Mortgage rates dipped despite good economic news, Kan added.

"Treasury yields have been volatile despite mostly positive economic news, including last week's June jobs report, which showed ongoing improvements in the labor market. However, rates continued to move lower – especially late in the week," he said. "The 30-year fixed rate was 11 basis points lower than the same week a year ago, but many borrowers previously refinanced at even lower rates."

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Today’s 10-year mortgage rates slide, others show no change | July 8, 2021

Fox Business 08 July, 2021 - 04:03pm

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Based on data compiled by Credible, mortgage rates remained mostly unchanged since yesterday, with the exception of 10-year rates, which dropped.

What this means: Those looking to purchase a home with a shorter term could find a couple of bargains in particular: Rates for a 10-year mortgage dropped to 2.000% for the first time in July, and 20-year rates are sitting at 2.500% for the second day in a row — the lowest rates this term has seen in nearly five months. Meanwhile, 30-year rates have held steady at 2.875% for six consecutive days, and 15-year rates have been sitting at 2.125% for two consecutive days. 

To find the best mortgage rate, start by using Credible, which can show you current mortgage and refinance rates:

Browse rates from multiple lenders so you can make an informed decision about your home loan.

After dropping to a near five-month low of 2.500% yesterday, today’s 20-year mortgage refinance rates jumped back up to 2.750%. Rates across 30-, 15- and 10-year terms are higher than they were at the beginning of the week but all terms remain at historic lows so homeowners looking to refinance could still find a bargain. If you’re considering refinancing an existing home, check out what refinance rates look like:

A site like Credible can be a big help when you’re ready to compare mortgage refinance loans. Credible lets you see prequalified rates for conventional mortgages from multiple lenders all within a few minutes. Visit Credible today to get started.

Mortgage and refinance rates are affected by many economic factors, like unemployment numbers and inflation. But your personal financial history will also determine the rates you’re offered.

If you want to get the lowest possible monthly mortgage payment, taking the following steps can help you secure a lower rate on your home loan:

It’s also a good idea to compare rates from different lenders to find the best rate for your financial goals. According to research from Freddie Mac, borrowers can save $1,500 on average over the life of their loan by shopping for just one additional rate quote — and an average of $3,000 by comparing five rate quotes. 

Credible can help you compare current rates from multiple mortgage lenders at once in just a few minutes. Are you looking to refinance an existing home? Use Credible’s online tools to compare rates and get prequalified today.

Mortgage interest rates have fluctuated from day to day but rates across all terms have held at historic lows all year. Today’s average interest rate is just 2.375% — the lowest it’s been in July.

The current interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.875%. This is the same as yesterday. Thirty years is the most common repayment term for mortgages because 30-year mortgages typically give you a lower monthly payment. But they also typically come with higher interest rates, meaning you’ll ultimately pay more in interest over the life of the loan.

The current interest rate for a 20-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.500%. This is the same as yesterday. Shortening your repayment term by just 10 years can mean you’ll get a lower interest rate — and pay less in total interest over the life of the loan.

The current interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.125%. This is the same as yesterday. Fifteen-year mortgages are the second-most-common mortgage term. A 15-year mortgage may help you get a lower rate than a 30-year term — and pay less interest over the life of the loan — while keeping monthly payments manageable. 

The current interest rate for a 10-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.000%. This is down from yesterday. Although less common than 30-year and 15-year mortgages, a 10-year fixed-rate mortgage typically gives you lower interest rates and lifetime interest costs, but a higher monthly mortgage payment.

You can explore your mortgage options in minutes by visiting Credible to compare current rates from various lenders who offer mortgage refinancing as well as home loans. Check out Credible and get prequalified today, and take a look at today’s refinance rates through the link below.

Today, mortgage rates are a mixed bag compared to this time last week.

If you’re trying to find the right rate for your home mortgage or looking to refinance an existing home, consider using Credible. You can use Credible's free online tool to easily compare multiple lenders and see prequalified rates in just a few minutes.

Researchers at Freddie Mac expect mortgage rates to rise slightly throughout 2021, citing the Federal Reserve’s commitment to keeping interest rates low for the foreseeable future.

Fannie Mae researchers anticipate mortgage rates to trend slightly higher this year, citing an ongoing rise in the 10-year Treasury yield. Ultimately, though, Fannie Mae experts believe lenders will "absorb" some of the elevated costs as "refinance demand gradually wanes" — keeping rates at relatively stable levels. 

Here are the predictions for how 30-year fixed rates will look for the rest of the year:

Actual average 30-year fixed rate in Q1 (January to March): 2.877%

A home insurance policy can help cover unexpected costs you may incur during homeownership, such as structural damage and destruction or stolen personal property. Coverage can vary widely among lenders so it’s wise to shop around and compare policy quotes.

Credible has a partnership with a home insurance broker. You can compare free home insurance quotes through Credible's partner here. It's fast, easy and the whole process can be completed entirely online. 

Have a finance-related question, but don't know who to ask? Email The Credible Money Expert at moneyexpert@credible.com and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.

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U.S. mortgage application volumes at lowest since early 2020 -MBA

Yahoo Finance 08 July, 2021 - 04:03pm

(Reuters) - The number of applications for home mortgages decreased last week to the lowest level since early 2020, dampened by declines in refinancing activity and purchase applications.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said on Wednesday its seasonally adjusted market index fell 1.8% in the week ending on July 2 from a week earlier, leaving it at to the lowest level since January 2020. This reflected a 2.3% decrease in applications to refinance existing loans and a 1.1% drop in applications to purchase a home.

The average contract interest rate for traditional 30-year mortgages decreased to 3.15% last week from 3.20% the prior week.

"The 30-year fixed rate was 11 basis points lower than the same week a year ago, but many borrowers previously refinanced at even lower rates," Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said in a statement. "Refinance applications have trended lower than 2020 levels for the past four months."

Rising home prices combined with insufficient supply has continued to weigh on the housing market.

(Reporting by Evan Sully; Editing by Sandra Maler)

A breakneck rally in U.S. government bonds continued on Thursday, with 10-year Treasury yields falling to their lowest levels since early-2021 as investors sensed cracks in the economic recovery and cooling risks of high inflation. The S&P 500 is currently indicated to open down about 1.25%, and in a sign of just how uniform the decline has been, both the Dow and Nasdaq futures are also in the red by about the exact same amount.

Though rates are under 3% again, refi demand is down for a second week in a row.

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Mortgage refinancing rates are very low right now, with some rates starting at below 3% as of the writing of this article (you can compare today’s best refi rates here). Indeed, “while rates continually fluctuate, they have dipped to record-setting lows this year,” says Alfredo Padilla, a spokesperson for Wells Fargo home lending. What’s more, many experts expect interest rates to rise this year, so now may be the time to act.

A recent report from real estate listing website Zillow found that 78% of homeowners skipped their chance to refinance their mortgage at record low rates in the past 12 months. The half who did refi...

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Average mortgage rates continue to fall

Honolulu Star-Advertiser 08 July, 2021 - 02:15pm

Homes were seen in the Kaimuki neighborhood at the foot of Diamond Head.

WASHINGTON >> Mortgage rates continued to fall this week, tracking a decline in yields on Treasury securities as the bond market continues to signal concerns over the strength of the recovery from the pandemic recession.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported today that the average for the 30-year home loan eased to 2.90% from 2.98% last week. By contrast, the rate stood at 3.03% a year ago.

The rate for a 15-year loan, a popular option among homeowners refinancing their mortgages, fell to 2.20% from 2.26% last week. Freddie Mac economists expect economic growth to gradually push mortgage rates higher in the second half of the year.

The bond market has been signaling the economic recovery concerns for months, specifically that it may have peaked and is now leveling off to a steadier pace. Home loan rates tend to track moves of the yield on the 10-year Treasury note — which rises when bond prices fall. The benchmark yield has been falling steadily in recent weeks as traders shift money into bonds. It was quoted at 1.30% around midday today, after trading as high as 1.74% at the end of March.

The market concerns also spilled into stocks, which were broadly lower today as investor caution set in after the market hit a series of record highs last week.

Last week’s government report on the job market in June showed that in an encouraging burst of hiring, U.S. employers added 850,000 jobs. That was well above the average of the previous three months and a sign that companies may be having an easier time finding enough workers to fill open jobs. But the Labor Department reported today that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week by 2,000 from the previous week to 373,000.

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Treasury rates drop amid Fed talks on economic stimulus – here’s what that means for interest rates

Fox Business 08 July, 2021 - 11:11am

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The Federal Reserve released its minutes Wednesday, showing increased discussions of when to remove its economic stimulus, sending interest rates and the stock market plummeting.

The Fed elected at the June meeting to keep the federal funds rate at a target range of 0% to 0.25%. But the meeting minutes showed that Federal Open Markets Committee members are increasingly debating when the federal stimulus should end. 

And while the minutes also made clear that the Fed will provide ample warning before making any moves, this talk was enough to send investors away from their bets on surging economic recovery and rising inflation. 

As investors changed direction, interest rates hit their lowest point since the winter, according to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 2.9%, the lowest level since mid-February. 

"Mortgage rates decreased this week following the dip in U.S. Treasury yields," Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said. "While mortgage rates tend to follow Treasury yields closely, other factors can be impactful such as the labor markets, which are continuing to improve per last week’s jobs report. We expect economic growth to gradually drive interest rates higher, but homebuyers and refinance borrowers still have an opportunity to take advantage of 30-year rates that are expected to continue to hover around 3%."

Interest rates may be poised to rise, especially if the Fed’s talks about moving away from bond-buying continues. A retreat from this would not only be the first step away from Fed-driven stimulus that was put in place during the pandemic but would also foreshadow that raising interest rates was on the horizon. But for now, rates remain at historic lows. 

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Mortgage rates slide to lowest levels since winter as investors grow skeptical of economic recovery

MarketWatch 08 July, 2021 - 09:14am

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell six basis points to an average of 2.2%, while the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage slid by two basis point to an average of 2.52%.

“While longer-term changes in rates are likely to be to the upside, the shift in the market’s outlook suggests that rates have little reason to move sharply higher anytime soon,” he added.

“Rates slipped as investors realized that the last Fed discussion may not have been as hawkish as was originally believed,” said Realtor.com chief economist Danielle Hale. She added that mortgage rates are likely to bounce around the 3% mark through August at least, given that the Fed is unlikely to lay out a timeline for when it will begin to wind down its stimulus efforts including the purchasing of mortgage-backed securities. That purchasing activity has allowed mortgage rates to fall and remain near record lows.

“Mortgage rates remain not too far from their historical lows, and consumers are expressing even greater confidence about their household income and job situation compared to this time last year, when the pandemic had shut down wide swaths of the economy,” Duncan said.

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Jacob Passy is a personal-finance reporter for MarketWatch and is based in New York.

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